Late Tuesday in Bird World

14 June 2022

I want to start this newsletter off with something wonderful! At the Redding California Bald Eagle nest, Sentry and Star are both on a high branch of the tree. Sentry has found his way home to Liberty, Guardian and Star who has yet to fledge. This is fabulous news!!!!!!!!

The weather in California is beautiful.

The bad weather returned to the Canadian Prairies and thus, also, to the MN-DNR nest of Nancy and E1. The tree is twisting around in the heavy winds at the moment and rain is pouring down.

There are floods in Montana and, we should check on Iris and her nest at Missoula. Iris did not spend the night on the perch or the nest that I could see. There is a wee bird that has made its home and nest under Iris’s big one. Can you see it?

The waters in the Clark Fork River are said to be rising. There are floods in various parts of Montana which means that it is difficult for the Osprey to catch fish. No wonder Iris did not want to share her fabulous catch yesterday with an intruder. Iris is simply amazing. There she is holding that precious fish and fighting off the intruder at the same time! Bless her heart.

The weather is quite bad at the Charlo Montana platform. (For Ospreys but occupied in March by geese…and not aware of current occupants, if any).

There are birds singing at Dunrovin!

Harriet continues to sit on her eggs even though they are well past the day to hatch. Swoop is supporting her. We wonder as do the folks at Dunrovin when they will quit hoping for their miracle.

Why do eggs not hatch? Dunrovin in their newsletter listed the following causes: cold weather, high humidity, lack of food, lack of egg fertilization. They noted that like many places it has been a very cold and wet spring in Montana.

The camera is still down at the ND-LEEF nest. It is 96 degrees at the nest – perhaps more higher up. Thoughts go to Little Bit 17 who desperately needs food (as do the other two but less so than 17).

The tea time feeding at the Loch of the Lowes left Middle and Big with gigantic crops. There was clearly enough fish for three. But we need fish for four – Mum has to eat, too.

Before Little Bob at the Loch of the Lowes was fish begging to Blue NC0 before she tucked them all in for the night. He first looked to see if Big Bob was in a food coma. He was. Little Bob is smart.

It would have been the perfect time for a fish to arrive. Little Bit would have had his fill along with Blue NC0! Sadly it was not to be.

Blue NC0 stood waiting and waiting for a delivery. Finally, everyone is in bed.

They are a beautiful couple – CJ7 and Blue 022 at the Poole Harbour Osprey Platform. Blue 022 brought in a nice big fish for CJ7 and the three Bobs at 21:08. These are first time parents making history in Poole Harbour. There have been no ospreys hatched in Poole Harbour for 200 years.

Know what? They are doing a fantastic job!!!!!!!!!

All is well at the nest of Idris and Telyn in Wales near the River Dyfi. Bobs are well fed and sound asleep. Another great Osprey couple. This is good news…we need all the good news we can muster. Good night Telyn. Good night Bobs. Good night wherever you are, Idris.

Gracious. Look at the crop on Mrs G!

Louis delivered a real whopper to Dorcha and the two surviving chicks at Loch Arkaig. What a monster. Everyone is going to eat well – a good time for it to come on the nest. Hopefully the weather will start giving this nest a break.

Middle Bob looks sassy!

The sheep are bleating. Aran is on his perch and the kids are asleep. It looks like Mrs G is going to go into food coma, too!

Notice the grass growing in the nest. In Finland they have noticed that grass growing in the Osprey nests actually helps hide the chicks from predators. Quite interesting.

At Rutland, the three osplets are fast asleep and Maya is going to take some time to enjoy some fish before lights out, too. Looking forward seeing these three ringed any day now.

The Bobs are still quite small compared to those at the Loch of the Lowes but everything at RSPB Loch Garten with Mr and Mrs AX6 and chicks seems fine.

It is 21:30 at the Llyn Clywedog nest in Wales – the nest of Dylan and Seren and the three Bobs. Seren is giving Dylan grief and telling him to go and get some more fish. Meanwhile the Bobs have eaten very well today. It takes a lot more fish to feed these fast growing large Bobs – and Mum.

Did you know that there are less than 1500 ospreys in the whole of the UK? That includes juveniles, too. There are a little less than 100,000 in the US. I hope to find out the distribution in the US. There are many in the US and the Cape area in the NE area of the US.

At the Manchester NH Peregrine falcon scrape, Clem was returned this morning. It looked like she wasn’t going anywhere for some time and then – she fludged again.

Colum, one of the males, is at the nest now. Little Colby fludged too but photos of him doing well have been posted on the groups FB page.

Lindsay and Grinnell Jr were ‘loafing’ earlier this morning and now I can only find one of them playing hide and seek. Fledge watch is on.

Alden is doing some ‘loafing’ too. Once those two chicks fledge he is going to be even more busy! So glad he signed up for all of this. You are fantastic, Alden.

Gosh. Do you remember when Alden had no idea how to feed a chick? maybe he had never seen one! – most likely.

Both fledgling ospreys from the UFlorida-Gainesville nest were having a fish dinner at 18:00! Lovely. These two have figured it out perfectly. Fly and get your wings strong. Learn about landings and take offs. Fly to the nest and be fed by Mum and Dad. When you are ready, 60 million years of knowledge will have you catching fish without realizing it….if there are fish to be caught.

They are gorgeous!

Oh, those three Black storklets of Jan and Janika are doing fabulous in rehab care at the Vet Clinic. The plastic decoy mother fell into the nest and the chicks were delighted!

Notice also that a couple of times they work to stand on their feet not walk on the ankles. It will not be long til they are standing and walking. Lovely crops. So healthy!

Today has had some really good news. We will continue to watch the Loch of the Lowes nest as well as wait for word of the ND-LEEF nest and Little Bit 17. Did I saw it was 96 degrees on the ground at the nest – hotter above! I hope 17 got some food.

Thank you so much for being with me. Lots of fledge watches – Star at Redding, Star at West End, the Cal Falcons, L4 at Cornell, National Arboretum, etc. The list is long! Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grabbed my screen captures, for their FB postings and for the videos uploaded: Liz M and EMU, Peregrine Networks, Cal Falcons, Friends of Redding Eagles, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Friends of Redding Eagles, MN-DNR, Montana Osprey Project, Owl Research Project Explore.org, Dunrovin, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and Scottish Wildlife Trust, Poole Harbour Ospreys, Dyfi Ospreys, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, LRWT, RSPB Loch Garten, Scottish Woodland Trust, Friends of Loch Arkaig and People’s Post Code Lottery, and CarnyXWild.

Late Wednesday in Bird World

8 June 2022

We are continuing to have the most beautiful days with bright sun and blue skies and no rain. The ground is actually spongy the water table is so high and there remains clear evidence of how high the river continues to be when I drive through the park. For the past week I have attempted to find and count goslings and ducklings. In the beginning it was very frustrating as all I could find were six goslings with two other Canada Goose couples incubating eggs. Then a couple of days ago I decided to go ‘somewhere else’ to see what was happening! There sure won’t be Guinness World Records broken this year for the number of goslings and ducklings in our City. It is quite sad! At the same time, when I hear someone interviewed about the issue of Canada Geese down by our Legislative Building and their solution is to tear up the nests and break up the eggs, I go wild! What they have now is a loud speaker projecting the sounds of hawks that are keeping the geese away from the water and the grass. Why not hire workers to clean the sidewalks? One day we will wake up and there will be no songbirds singing or geese honking or little ones scurrying to catch up with the attitude that it is simply alright to destroy their nests. It isn’t alright. They are protected by our 1994 wildlife protections for migrant birds.

At any rate, I found spawning fish, an Osprey flying overhead, a single American Pelican, and lots of geese along with a couple of duck couples at one site.

A female Mallard with her 9 ducklings. She never took her eye off me. The male left the edge of the pond first and then she went in with the 9 ducklings. I was approximately 37 metres or 120 feet away.

One Canada Goose family with four little ones.

At another park, I found a couple of Mallard and Goose families along with a lot of male wood ducks and only one female in sight.

These little ducklings were having so much fun racing ahead of their Mum.

At the other end of the pond, a single gosling constitutes the ‘family’ for these two geese this year. Back on the island scattered about are abandoned eggs that would have been destroyed by the flood waters at the pond.

The Wood Ducks were not at this park the last time I visited. It was very disappointing as the pond is normally full of them. There were some this time, thankfully.

The little female Wood Ducks are adorable.

Mixed in with the geese and ducks was this one particular shape that did deep dives into the water. The light was not good but what you are looking at is a very wet Common Goldeneye below.

What is interesting to me is that Common Goldeneyes will seek out tree cavities or stumps – even chimneys. The females have also been known to lay their eggs in another duck’s nest (if they do not have a suitable one). This is known as ‘brood parasitism’. Thankfully ducklings are precocial – they can take care of themselves once they hatch! There could be as many as 30 in a single clutch! Since ducks return to the site where they hatched, it is common for them to be related to one another.

This is the first time I have seen this species at this pond. It is a female. It is possible the floods have caused a variety of species to come to the city where it is dry than stay in the rural areas where the fields are totally flooded.

At another park this afternoon, there was one group of goslings totalling 11 with both parents and another younger group totalling 9 with no parent visible. It felt odd to see them alone and not a single goose with them!

It was, however, great to see those fuzzy little bodies on the water paddling or eating grass.

Let’s take a spin around the nests and see what has been going on.

At the ND-LEEF Bald Eagle nest, ND17 Little Bit 17 does an amazing steal at 13:08. Little Bit just seems to be coming into his own – much more confident. Today at 13:08:53 he made a major steal from one of the big siblings. I believe it was 15.

In the beginning Little Bit went up between the two sib siblings looking to snatch and grab. That didn’t work so well.

He crept closer to the beak but the big sibling only started flapping its wings.

Little Bit went back by the porch when 15 started flapping. Meanwhile 16 is looking to see what is going on.

Little Bit wasted no time getting up on the other side of the big sibling.

The kid is lighting fast – he grabbed that prey item and off he went to the porch. Both big siblings look on in dismay. Dismay because Little Bit actually pulled the prey item out of the beak of 15 and ran with it!

Little Bit ate all of it! Great steal. This kid is really getting so confident. When he wants something he has been able to get it – at least for the past couple of days. Just imagine if he had food everyday. This eagle would be a very formidable opponent – long ago. He is getting there now.

As evening arrives, it is pitching down rain on Little Bit 17.

All three Bobs are growing and doing well at the Loch of the Lowes nest of Laddie LM12 and Blue NC0. Even Little Bob is growing – still smaller but right up there.

Aran has a huge Perch for Mrs G and the trio at the Glaslyn nest.

Come on Little Bob get up and get some fish before bedtime.

The winds are blowing a gale up at the Llyn Clywedog nest. They even sent Seren flying over the edge of the nest earlier. Here Dylan (on the right) is helping Seren feed the three Bobs so that everyone eats. There has been some nonsense on this nest in the past couple of days.

Idris just keeps catching whoppers for Telyn to feed their three Bobs at the Dyfi nest. Just look at that fish! And they still have big crops from an earlier feed.

Idris takes the fish he just brought and Telyn gets a piece from the nest and they do a tandem feeding. Everyone gets fed – once again before bed – including the littlest Bobbi who goes over to Dad!!!!!!! Do you find that the males seem to empathize with the small little males having to fight sometimes for food? like they might have had to do once?

The three Bobs are still lining up like a perfect choir for Maya to feed them at the Rutland Water Osprey nest she shares with Blue 33.

Besides L1 and Clem fledging, Jack at the Cromer Peregrine Falcon scrape fledged yesterday.

Speaking of Clem fledging. They are keeping an eye on her and Maria, the local Wildlife Rehabber, will return her to the scrape if she can. A big shout out to all the wildlife rehabbers that help these wee ones.

Middle has dropped his crop at the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest. For several days, many of us have watched intently believing that now was the moment he would fledge. Middle is still with us! He will fly off easily, just like L2 as if he had been flying all his life.

That is just a quick stop at a few nests this afternoon. Everyone of the Ospreys nests in the UK appears to be doing fine. Lots of eaglets wanting to fledge in the US. Different events happening all over the place! Looking for more fledges at Cornell this week and surely Middle at UF-G will let the wind carry him upward and forward. I am working on an article on a couple of amazing Wildlife Rehabilitation Centres for the beginning of next week. If you have a favourite send me a note and tell me how they pulled your heart strings!

Thanks so much for joining me this afternoon. Stay safe. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: ND-LEEF, Dyfi Osprey Project, Llyn Clywedog and CarnyXWild, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Loch of the Lowes and Woodland Trust, Cromer Peregrines, LRWT, and Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn.

Bird World. 16 November

Viewers of the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge are starting to wonder if Bazza isn’t eating so much fish that he can’t get lift off the nest. He sure does love his fish.

At 08:00 Dad flies in with the first fish of the day. Falkey gets that one fighting off Bazza who would just love to have breakfast. At 8:50, Falky is full and he walks away leaving a beautiful fish tail on the nest. Ervie spied it immediately and finished that off quick.

They remain such a civil trio. There is Falkey getting to enjoy his breakfast.

Ervie turns around and probably doesn’t believe his luck – a nice fish tail just in front of him. He was there claiming it in the snap of a finger.

Ervie made quick work of the fish tail. Falky is full and Bazza really doesn’t seem interested.

At 09:36:53, Dad flies in with another fish, quite a large one this time. He puts it right at Bazza’s feet. Talk about luck. Bazza was still eating on that fish an hour and a half later. I don’t think he will be leaving too many scraps.

Just look at the size of that fish!

Bazza is still eating. My goodness. It could be true. Maybe he is too big for take off. Bazza certainly seems to be wider than the other two lads.

Do you follow the falcons at Orange? If so, then you probably know that this is the one year anniversary of last year’s chick, Izzi’s fludge. For those unfamiliar, Izzi was the only hatch of Diamond and Xavier in 2020. He dozed off on the ledge and literally fell out of the scrape box. Cilla had to find him and carry him back up the 170 steps to the box. When he did fledge, the first time, Izzi flew into a window and went into care. Cilla returned him to the scrape to do it properly the third time. Isn’t that what they say? The third time is a charm. It worked. In memory of the fludge, someone has put together a video clip of it and Izzi being returned to the scrape.

As for ‘Little’ Yurruga, Xavier delivered three prey items for his daughter before 06:45! Diamond will come in later and help Yurruga but she is doing a good job of the self-feeding. I love how she watches Diamond so intently when she is plucking and eating – memorizing / imprinting it all.

Rumours are circling that the WBSE Juvenile will be released from care into an area around the Newington Armoury by the Discovery Centre in the Sydney Olympic Park. The juvenile injured by the Curras is believed to be 27. (There are some that believe it is 28 and with no bands and no DNA who knows.)

There is really not a lot going on in Bird World. Waiting for Bazza to take the leap, waiting for some of the first Bald Eagles to lay their eggs, waiting to find out who is the Royal Cam Albatross family this year. Feels like a lot will happen at once!

Oh, I had to just go and check on the lads one more time to see if it is possible Bazza has flown. Nope. It is an hour later and Bazza is still eating!!!!!!!! Bazza has been eating for two hours. I kid you not. Did someone get Little Bob mixed up with Big Bob?

Flying uses up a lot of calories. Look at the difference in size between Falkey and Bazza. Gracious.

Thank you for joining me. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots.

White-Bellied Sea Eagles have an Empty Nest

It was not the way the morning should have started. When we think of fledging, most of the time we recall juveniles reaching a certain age and flying out from the nest on their own. Sometimes it does not go to plan. Many are actually forced out by intruders. We will never know, for example, what larger bird of prey forced Malin (the Osplet at Collins Marsh) to fledge causing its death. Other times the birds fludge like Izzi last year when he went to sleep on the ledge and fell out of the scrape box. Izzi was lucky. He had a guardian angel to get him back to safety. Malin did not.

Today, WBSE 27 and 28 got up and 28 seems to have snagged the morning breakfast delivery. I don’t know what it is with eating and early morning air but young raptors seem to become energized. That is precisely what happened to 28, the youngest. It started flapping its wings and jumping around the nest. Meanwhile, 27 was minding its own business on one of the parent branches. 28 decided to fly up to where 27 was. It was at that moment that I remembered Big and Little at Duke Farms last season. Both were on the branch and one of the birds wanted on the other side and they both fludged. Theirs was a happy ending but that wasn’t know for a few days. Both made their way back to the nest to be fed by the parents for some time. That is the way it is supposed to happen. Well, it is unclear about WBSE 28. He fell off the nest.

Here is a sequence of still images showing the build up to the fludge. In the first one, 27 is on the branch and 28 is still eating.

28 begins to flap and jump.

Look at those beautiful wings.

27 flies up to the branch.

At 07:22:02 WBSE 28 almost took both of the birds off the nest. He fell to the left. You can see his wings. WBSE 28 composes itself on the branch.

Meanwhile the cam operator searches the ground for WBSE 28.

Almost immediately the Pied Currawong begin their relentless attack on WBSE 27.

There were three Pied Currawong taking turns at WBSE 27. You see it is in their best interests to keep these sea eaglets out of the forest despite the fact that I have never seen a WBSE eat a Pied Currawong. They certainly might want to start doing that. This is not the first time these birds have rushed a sea eaglet to fledgling and flying out of the forest never to return. They did the same thing last year.

27 does well honking and spreading its wings in a defensive manner. It had to be frightened.

At one point 27 flew at the Currawong.

WBSE 27 off the nest at 8:33:56.

One of the Sydney Sea Eagle chatters caught WBSE 27’s fledge and made a video clip of it. 27 flew to the branch by the camera tree. You can see it in the clip. It was a beautiful first flight. You can also see 27 flying out of the forest to the left.

There are many types of fledges and the anxiousness of WBSE 27 being harassed by the Pied Currawongs – well, you can decide if he flew off the nest because he was frightened or not.

Many believe that when the nestlings fledge, it is a successful season and life goes on. I always wonder what happens to these fledglings. It pulls at my heart and mind to have the Currawong run them out of the forest.

When raptors fledge, many take short flights from the nest returning for up to a month to be fed by their parents until they are just strong enough to fly off on their own. One of the best examples of success in this way were E17 and E18, the two Bald Eaglets of Harriet and M15’s at the Southwest Florida Bald Eagle nest in Fort Myers this year. There on the Pritchett Property the little eaglets were watched – they played in the pond, flew out and returned. They did this for about a month and then, one morning they were gone. By doing short flights from the nest at their leisure, the eagle fledglings imprinted the map back to the nest in their mind. That is not what has happened at the Sea Eagle nest in the Sydney Olympic Forest. Will the eaglets return to the nest to be fed by Lady and Dad? Will Lady and Dad find them and feed them elsewhere? Is 28 tangled up in a tree in the forest? Will anyone rescue it? Where are the foxes? These are my questions. I hope that there is someone – many someones – actively looking for 28. If I hear anything, I will let you know.

The sea eaglets were right within the fledge range. I expected them to fledge any moment. It is unfortunate that 28 fell out of the tree. I do hope it recovered. No reason to think it would not. We will probably never know what happens to WBSE 27 and 28. Sadly, there is no programme for monitoring and tracking. I wish there were like with the Ospreys at Port Lincoln. It would be very interesting to see if they make it away from the nest and find a beach with carrion and other juveniles and survive and thrive.

UPDATE: Ranger Judy Harrington says that no one will be looking for 28 in the forest. It was heard on camera and they believe the Currawong will let them know where it is.

Thank you for joining me this evening. Take care all.

Thank you to the Sea Eagle Cam @Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre.

Owls, Eaglets, and Ospreys

Farmer Derek lives on the Klingenberg Farm near Newton, Kansas with his wife and daughters. His father and his three brothers are also working at the farm – it is a wonderful family endeavour. It is on this farm where the now famous hijacking of a Bald Eagle nest by a pair of Great Horned owls took place on 1 February. This family loved the eagles that lived on their land and were disappointed when the owls ousted them from their tree but now the entire family has embraced Bonnie and Clyde and their owlets. Farmer Derek’s father is going to build Great Horned Owls boxes for them this summer and we will see what happens. It is called Value Added Agriculture and Farmer Derek just gave an interview on a PBS Nova show called Market to Market. The interview begins with some chat about other things but most of it is focused on the owls. You can move the time forward or listen to it all, here:

Lots of the birds have been growing beyond belief and it is time to check in on some old friends. First off, Harriet and M15’s little ones (did I really say little?), E17 and E18. You might remember this image of little 18 in the striped donut towel and 17 having to have time out because she was so aggressive towards her sibling especially during feeding times.

E17 and E18 getting treated for AC at CROW, Fort Myers, Florida. @CROW FB

The image above shows the two little eagles at CROW. Aren’t they precious? Their eyes have been cleaned. They were crusty and covered over and permission was given by the USFWS to remove them for treatment. That was the first week in February. Their test results came back today and confirmed they had Avian Chlamydophilia psittaci or AC, for short. That is what CROW suspected based on their symptoms. It is a disease caused by a bacteria, Chlamydia psittacia. Birds catch it from other infected birds – dust, feather, droppings. The symptoms range from a cough, to the crusty eyes, or to sudden death. So glad that a system known to be so slow worked fast for these eaglets and that E17 and E18 were treated! The pair were at the clinic for five days, returned to the nest only when the bacterial infection was gone.

This is E17 and E18 being fed this morning, 16 March, some five weeks later. They now have juvenile plumage. The only way you can tell the two apart is that E18 has a white strip of feathers at the base of the tail. In the image below, E18 is in the middle and E17 is the farthest away.

Breakfast for E17 (left) and E18 (middle). 16 March 2021. @D Pritchett Eagle Cam

For a long time, E18 was the underdog but she quickly became the ‘Queen’ (or King) of the snatch and grab and grew big. When food is brought on the nest for self feeding, the majority of the time E18 mantles it and eats! Very capable and no longer intimidated. As is so often the case, if the little one survives they figure out ingenious ways to eat and they thrive. Lady Hawk (Sharon Dunne) did a video of a squirrel arriving three days ago and E18 mantling it and feeding. Here it is:

They have turned into such beautiful birds. Here they are looking out at the big world that will be theirs. They are now more than halfway to fledging.

16 March 2021. E17 (left) and E18 (right) looking out at the world of possibilities. @D Pritchett Eagle Cam

Little Legacy isn’t so little anymore either. She has overcome, on her own, Avian Pox which is fantastic. She will be immune for the rest of her life. The image below is from a week ago. Legacy still had soft down on her head but her feet were getting large and she had quite the full crop. There were jokes about her on the Internet as being a big ‘pudgy’. Oh, the benefits of being the only eaglet in the nest!

This is Legacy this morning on the nest with her mother, Gabby, waiting for a food delivery. The fluffy dandelions on the top of her head are almost all gone and now instead of grey down she is almost 3/4 covered with her juvenile plumage. They grow sooooooo fast and she is very beautiful. She copies her mother working on the nest, incubating and rolling ‘Eggie’ and will, one day add to the legacy of her grandparents, Romeo and Juliet.

16 March 2021. Legacy (left) and her mother Gabby. NEFL Eagle Nest, Jacksonville, FL. @AEF and NEFL Eagle Cam

You might remember the female Bald Eagle encrusted in snow for most of the incubation period – that was the mom over at Duke Farms. Two of the three eggs hatched and those two are growing and growing. These kids have some very different meals than Legacy who eats mostly fish (a few mammals) and many times people are left guessing what the two had for dinner. Despite a lot of prey available, there is some concern for the second eaglet who is consistently pecked down by the older at feeding time. It is the reason that I cringe when I see three eggs. Sometimes two is more than enough – and there are definite advantages to being an ‘only’ eaglet or Osprey. Fingers crossed for this little one.

It is unclear to me what precipitates the feeling of food insecurity that results in siblicide. I have printed and read all of the academic material – it is sitting in front of me – and I am still baffled by which nests experience siblicide and which do not. Are there real predictors?

The little one at Duke Farms wanted to eat and the older one kept blocking it this morning.

Older one at Duke Farms pecking and deliberately keeping little one from eating. 16 March 2021. @Duke Farms Eagle Cam

So, the little one waited til the older one’s crop was ready to pop and finally got around to eat. Smart. Let us hope that this keeps up.

Yippee. Older going into a food coma. Little one eating. Well done. @Duke Farms Eagle Cam

Yesterday I gave the dad, Jack, a ‘beef’. He is the mate to Diane at the Achieva Osprey nest in St Petersburg. Those osplets hatched on the 7 and 9 of March. I fully expected when the fish did arrive that there could have been mayhem because it was so late in the day and it had been so hot but – it didn’t happen. And hats off to Jack (did he hear me screaming at him), he brought in another fish later. It is entirely understandable that it was so hot that the fish went deep in the water and Jack had to wait til it cooled off to fish. Everyone was full heading to sleep and this morning at 9:35 he brought in an early morning fish. Those Osplets lined up nicely for the meals and did not bother one another at all. They ate. So maybe I will take that beef back, Jack! These are the most well behaved siblings to one another.

16 March 2021. Breakfast for the trio. @Achieva Osprey Nest

I have included the image below because you now see the beautiful reddish-brown feathers coming in on the head of the osplet closest to the front.

And he isn’t an Owl, an eaglet, or an Osprey but Izzi, the juvenile Peregrine Falcon is the cutest thing on the planet. He is inside the scrape box of his parents, Diamond and Xavier (talk about beautiful parents) and many are wondering if Izzi will ever leave. Last fall, Izzi went to sleep on the ledge of the scrape box and fludged. He was returned to the box on top of a water town on the campus of Sturt University Orange Campus, Australia. The second fledge and he hit a window and was rescued by Cilla Kinross, the researcher, and taken for care. Five days later Cilla Kinross climbed the 170 stairs to return him to the scrape box where he successfully fledged for a third time some days later. Maybe he thinks this box is his? I guess we wait to find out. Izzi loves to look at himself in the camera!

Look at those eyes. Besides their stealth speed at aerial hunting, these little falcons are adorable. Seriously I could take him home!

So glad you could join me as we check in with some of our bird friends who have been a little ignored lately. Take care of yourself. See you soon!

Thank you to Derek the Farmer, SWFL, NEFL, Achieva, Duke Farms, and Cilla Kinross and Sturt University Orange Campus Australia for their streaming cams where I grabbed my scaps.

7:46, June 12. J2 fledges.

It is the day that everyone has been waiting for – the first fledge off the Fernow light tower at the Cornell Campus in Ithaca, New York. The winner of the honour was J2.

J is the designation for the year, 2020. The camera began recording the activities at the nest in 2012. Knowing that Big Red had, at least, two earlier years raising successful chicks prior to the cameras, they began with the letter C in 2012. The ‘2’ is because this hawklet was the second to hatch but was, ironically, the first egg to be laid. Which if you are good at math and understand the counting indicates that this chick is actually the oldest.

J2 has beautiful blue eyes which will eventually turn darker and a wide white terminal band. Notice how the breast (or crop area) is covered with the typical peach colour for these hawks. At fledge it also had a line of ‘dandelions’ remaining on the top of its head, like a mohawk hair-cut.

J2 sitting in a pine tree across the street from the nest but within view of his mum, Big Red. Notice the little dandelions on his head. How cute! Their talons have tendons that enable them to sleep or sit standing up without fear of falling over.

J2 set a first in the recording of fledges from the Fernow Tower nest. He fledged off the back of a light box. It was, actually, more of a fludge. He/she spent some wonderful time sitting on top of the light box balancing nicely and then slipped but recovered beautifully flying under the tower, across the street, landing by its talons on Bradfield to steady itself in a nearby Ginko tree.

For nearly twelve hours, until the camera stopped rolling, J2 kept us on the edge of our chairs. I tell you it was better than a good thriller on Netflix!

He/she flew keeping the legs tucked tight like a pro. J2 spent some time on top of the Rice Building, flew back near Bradfield and played around on the steps and railings to the entrance, flew off again to another building, and finally wound up near to where it started, back in the tree. Throughout Big Red was watching from the southeast corner at the top of Bradfield while Arthur soared whenever J2 got out of sight so that the chick could be located. Nothing gets by these two parents. Parenting is a well orchestrated sharing of duties.

Big Red on the left (17 years old) and Arthur on the right (4 years old)

When I first began watching the hawks on the ledge at NY University, I naively asked the chat group what kind of dangers hawks experienced. The Washington Square group were very patient with me describing the use of rodentcides that cause blood not to coagulate as a prime poison for the hawks in the parks of NYC. This is because their primary prey are the rats of the city. And then there are cars, buses, trucks, windows, air vents between buildings -. The list was extensive.

This morning J2 flew over a street with little traffic but still the cars and buses were moving at a clip and well, who knew that he could steer itself to the safety of a tree away from the road? He/she could have also, just as easily, flown into a window. There is a box of worry beads in the chat room and I suspect most of us were helping ourselves today. The sad truth is that 1 in 3 red-tail fledglings do not live to see their first year. I hope, for these in rural New York, that is not the case.

So tomorrow will be another nail biter as we wait to see what J1 and J3 will do. Will they both fledge at the same time? on the same day but at different times? will either of them try to go over the light box like J2 or will they find some new entry way to this next stage in their life?

Stay tuned! I am now officially a hawkaholic.